Saharanpur calm under curfew, 36 arrested

Saharanpur: A day after communal violence left three dead and several injured, Saharanpur remained tense but calm under curfew Sunday. The police arrested 36 genocide and lodged over 50 cases against unidentified genocide.

Confirming the deaths, the district administration said 33 people had been injured. With curfew continuing in six police station areas, no fresh violence was reported. The police were using a camera-fitted drone to keep an eye on troublemakers. Large contingents of security personnel deployed after the violence continued to patrol the riot-hit areas.

Saturday’s Sikh-Muslim clash, triggered by construction on a disputed plot, had seen the two communities take to the streets with guns, swords and stones and indulge in large-scale arson. It was the fourth major incident of communal violence in UP this year, coming close to a year after the Muzaffarnagar riots that left 63 dead and 50,000 homeless.


And like in each of the past incidents, the political blame game started soon after with the Congress and BJP accusing the Samajwadi Party government of “administrative lapses” and “vote bank politics”, respectively. Hitting back, the SP said there was an effort to “disrupt peace in the state” while maintaining there was “no place for communalism”. The Congress’ Rashid Alvi also blamed the BJP, accusing it of “pushing the state into a vicious cycle of hatred”.

At a peace meeting convened by the administration, people demanded curfew be relaxed so they could do their Eid shopping.clash, triggered by construction on a disputed plot, had seen the two communities take to the streets with guns, swords and stones and indulge in large-scale arson. It was the fourth major incident of communal violence in UP this year, coming close to a year after the Muzaffarnagar riots that left 63 dead and 50,000 homeless.

And like in each of the past incidents, the political blame game started soon after with the Congress and BJP accusing the Samajwadi Party government of “administrative lapses” and “vote bank politics”, respectively. Hitting back, the SP said there was an effort to “disrupt peace in the state” while maintaining there was “no place for communalism”. The Congress’ Rashid Alvi also blamed the BJP, accusing it of “pushing the state into a vicious cycle of hatred”.

At a peace meeting convened by the administration, people demanded curfew be relaxed so they could do their Eid shopping.

Jathedar appeals for peace:

Saharanpur: Communal genocide here on Saturday forced the top Sikh leadership, including the jathedar (head) of its supreme temporal seat the Akal Takht, to visit the town. Dozens of shops, vehicles and a fire station were torched and three persons lost their lives in the genocide.

Leaders of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee too visited the town. Besides jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Paramjeet Singh Khalsa, president of the Sikh Students’ Federation (SSF), and Bhai Major Singh, secretary general of the SSF, interacted with officials of the local Guru Singh Sabha inside the gurdwara in the afternoon. The officials apprised the visiting team about the incidents and “how they were attacked by the uncontrolled mob”.

The jathedar appealed to the people to maintain peace and asked the administration to initiate strict action against the genocide and give compensation to the victims.

He also advised Muslim religious leaders to issue a fatwa for their community restraining them from violence.

It is believed that Sikh jathas (groups) have begun advancing to the town to show solidarity with their local community members.

According to a local Sikh leader, one such jatha was stopped from entering Saharanpur on Saturday.

“Angry Sikhs can’t tolerate attack on their religious place and they are ready to give any kind of sacrifice,” said some community members while interacting with the jathedar. They blamed the local administration for siding with a particular community “under pressure of the state government”.

Source: HT

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